Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Star Wars Jesus

Just the other day I made contact with an old friend. Perhaps I would be better to say a friend of old as I had not communicated with them for a couple of decades. In the communication there were several allusions to things of a “spiritual” nature. For no particular reason this made me think of Star wars Jesus (SWJ)
If there was a Jesus that I could really like it would be SWJ. Bleeding cross Jesus and fatherly overlord Jesus actually make me a bit nauseous. The bible pounding poorly defined “you must repent Jesus” often causes me to imagine the late stages of tropical skin diseases.

I am so very pleased that SWJ has become so very popular these days. There are even some folks trying to codify SWJ. They have written a book.

The SWJ I am talking about is the Jesus that is everywhere and nowhere at all. You simply “have to believe” and have “moral thoughts” attributed to SWJ and you can go to heaven. Let the force be with you. A couple reasons why I like SWJ are these:
1) It requires a personal moral compass to exist. Right and wrong exist independent of SWJ and she simply augments this. I like it when people believe it is necessary to know the difference between right and wrong. I do not like it when people say believing in a mythology anoints them with “moral truth”.
2) It is so ephemeral that it can be mapped onto physical attributes of the universe like simply being or the interaction of mater and energy. It is almost the fabric of the universe itself and is therefore as undeniable as chanting OM.
3) It’s existence relies on a self referential positive thought device that is probably quite healthy (mentally speaking).
In fact the only reasons not to like SWJ is the terminology, and perhaps an unfortunate allusion to iron-age mythology. If an alien had no idea what the vestigial terms meant when they had SWJ described to them it would sound pretty cool. It might be a bit pedestrian, as theoretical constructs go. As a mental exercise it could rank up their with Yoga or TM.
I don't think SWJ is a new or compelling idea in and of itself. SWJ is more of a sign of a theological coming of age. The secularists did not have many new ideas when they ushered in a age of liberal theology but they opened a window in society that let people look out. I think SWJ is such a window for our age. I can only hope that SWJ matures from a vague set of notions to a firm religious doctrine taught and canonized. The major obstacle to this is that SWJ is by her very nature a vague set of notions.

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